The Hamilton Spectator released an article on Wednesday that was chock-full of fascinating news about the upstart Canadian Premier League. Most notably, it revealed a ton of new information about how the upstart Canadian Premier League may structure its rosters and source its players.
Reporter Steve Milton learned that the CPL will have a salary cap structure, with the average player’s wage hovering around $50,000 or more. The league will also have a heavy focus on Canadian content, as it looks like teams will need to be composed of at least half Canadian players (both on the field and in their overall roster).
Also important to note is that the CPL will apparently draw its players from five “pools.” First would be the “Foundational” Canadian players, who already play professionally at a high level (either in MLS or elsewhere, I’d assume). Then there “Up-and-coming” young Canadians playing around the world, as well as “Home territory” players who come from a club’s local area. International players would fit into the “Open market” category, and it sounds like a few non-Canadians have expressed interest in the league.
The fifth pool is reportedly for Canadian college and university players; the Spectator reports that the CPL has been in contact with U Sports with regard to a possible draft — similar to the MLS SuperDraft.
This information will surely be music to the ears of passionate Canadian soccer fans. The CPL will clearly be a Canadian league through and through, with local talent given as much a chance as possible to develop. By focusing on giving young Canadians a place to play, the CPL can definitely improve the depth and overall quality of the men’s national team’s player pool, as well as continue to grow the sport in this country ahead of the 2026 World Cup.
The Canadian Premier League is expected to kick off in April 2019, with eight teams in its inaugural season. Concrete player signings should be coming soon, over the next couple months.